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platform opposed any, quote, scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the electoral college. so what change snd mitt romney lost, that's what. republicans can't win the popular vote square. so they want to change the rules. so far this year republicans in at least five states have talked about doing this in all five states. republicans control the governors mansion and both houses of the legislature. folks, they're going to try to do this. and we have to fight it. that's how we honor dr. king's dream. not by empty words and ceremonies but by doing what he did. action. get out there like martin iii and the rest of us and fight to fulfill the dream. not just give some words of ceremony about a dream that you will not make a reality.
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happy birthday, dr. king. the dream moves on. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. does gop mean guns over people? let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. this afternoon two men were wounded in yet another school shooting. this time in st. louis. today's shooting comes as the republican party is siding with the folks out there who want lots of semiautomatic firepower to fight this country's elected government. so has it become the guns over people party? republican u.s. senator rand paul of kentucky talks about the president usurping the constitution. republican texas congressman steve stockman talks about
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impeaching the president if he takes steps to upgrade gun safety by executive order. remember sharron angle, the nevada republican senate candidate talking openly about using second amendment remedies against public officials? people used to think she was alone out there, something of an oddity. what's becoming clear is in today's gop, she's more typical than not. ed rendell was governor of pennsylvania, michael steele was chair of the republican party. gentlemen, thank you. president obama will announce his plans for gun safety tomorrow after hearing vice president biden's task force recommendations, but already criticism is mounting on the right. here is republican senator rand paul of kentucky. >> i'm against having a king. i think having a monarch is what we fought the american revolution over, and someone who wants to bypass the constitution, bypass congress, that's someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch. i've been opposed to executive orders even with republican presidents, but one that wants to infringe on the second amendment we will fight tooth
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and nail, and i promise you there will be no rock left unturned as far as trying to stop him from usurping the constitution. >> okay. on the house side rand paul is not alone. u.s. congressman steve stockman of east texas hasn't ruled out impeachment after hearing the president may use executive orders for some gun safety measures. he released a statement saying in part, i will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the white house, and even filing articles of impeachment. the president's actions are not just an attack on the constitution, he says, and a violation of his sworn oath of office, they are a direct attack on americans that place all of us in danger. if the president is allowed to suspend constitutional rights on his own personal whims, our free republic has effectively ceased to exist. governor, these people talk as if we haven't elected our government. they talk like it's a monarchy from england. this is the crazy talk here in this country.
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the government treated as a foreign institution, something way out somewhere controlled by not even americans, but by the enemies of america, and now they talk about guns that they need to have in hand in case they have to go to work dealing with that government basically with firepower. this language is brand new to me. it seems to me this used to be posse comitatus talk out in idaho. now it's become the normal lingua franca of the republican party. >> first of all, both stockman and paul don't have a clue what's in the 18 or 19 things the president is going to do by executive order. my belief is they're mostly about collection of data, not exactly frontal assault on the second amendment. so they should wait and see what they are before they start popping off. in terms of the major things, background checks for everybody, ending the high capacity magazines, assault weapons ban, those are things that still have to go before a congress for a vote. to tell you the truth, although it's a little scary to hear
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these people, i am also not displeased when i hear these wacko comments because it drives more and more people who are on the fence over to our side saying, look, these guys are nuts, we've got to have sensible gun laws. and we do have to have sensible gun laws. let me tell you for every representative stockman, there's representative dent and fitzpatrick and gerlach who -- >> explain that because you know that suburban politics where you have republicans representing moderate political communities, and how will they react. >> not just philadelphia, but in st. louis, chicago, cleveland, and places like that, and those republicans are going to face a real tough decision. they stay with the nra and they endanger their re-election because in those districts, 70%, 80% of the people want these sensible measures. they want background checks for everyone, no exceptions. they want high capacity magazines banned. they want assault rifles banned.
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it's going to be a real test all over this country. >> michael steele is here. michael, you're a reasonable guy obviously. let's look at these numbers. "the washington post" numbers on gun show background checks, 88% support. this is a new "washington post" poll here. overwhelmingly support these. 88% support gun show background checks, which we don't have really today. 76%, three-quarters, approve the gun checks when buying ammo. 71% say yes to a federal gun database. that's important. 65% support a ban on high capacity magazines, and 58% support a ban on assault weapons. it gets tougher about the assault weapon ban, and i think that's why harry reid, the head of the democratic party in the senate, is nervous about submitting it to the congress because he figures it won't pass the house. >> two points. one, i think the poll -- and the irony here is a lot of the stuff you just showed the nra was behind. they didn't have a problem with the gun show checks and
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the -- >> in the days of yesteryear. >> in the days of yesteryear, and i think they need to get back to that. >> you know the politics. why have they gone to this rejectionist -- >> i'll be the washington cynic, and the fact is it's fund raising and membership. and you look -- >> is it gun sales? >> absolutely gun sales, ammunition, from ammunition to guns. take that off the table. you still have the slaughter of 20 innocents here. that's what is driving the american people. that's the focus of our community right now is if this can happen in newtown, massachusetts, it's certainly happening in chicago -- >> respond to what the governor said about the suburban republicans who aren't right wingers. if you were still party chair, what language would you -- how would you position your party on guns? >> i would position it where the party has always been, working towards common sense solutions that, number one, enforce those currently on the book. there are good, enforceable laws on the book. two, let's look at where the loopholes are, if that's the gun
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shows, if that's, you know, with having a database that's incomplete, let's fix those things because, again, that's where the nra has been. >> governor, you made the point that a lot of the things being talked about, the president will come out with tomorrow. we don't know for sure, but we got a pretty good line with "the new york times" today. look at these. i don't think these are at all authoritarian, as you pointed out. a tougher prosecution of people who lie on their background checks. why would the nra be for people lying on their background checks? >> they should be supportive of that. >> and this other one, research on gun violence. i don't know what research scares anybody. this one, limits on guns imported from overseas. i mean, is that something the president can do by executive order? i don't know. >> i'm not sure either. >> what about this -- this is a good one. sharing of mental health records. this is an aclu question. this comes from the other end politically, right, michael? >> absolutely right. >> you might find people on what we call the political left -- >> who have a problem. >> we don't want the word out with everybody with an emotional -- every time you go
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to a psychiatrist and you have a problem, do you really want that to be -- do you want to be put on a list? >> chris -- >> for purposes of checking to see whether you're gun eligible, that becomes an issue. >> are these only court-ordered situations, governor? >> yeah. >> when they say put a database -- only people with court ordered action. >> the one thing that the nra has said other than the guns in schools, the one thing they have said they're for is tightening up the mental health reporting. so this is one where the nra is even for it. how is that an assault on anything? >> let's try to get into the mind of some of these yahoos talking like this guy. yaeger is out there saying he's -- this is a so-called apology. let's look at this. here he is. you might recall this is last week, this kind of disturbing guy came out and talked about tactical response, about shooting people in response to white house action on guns. well, now he's sort of recanting. here is a bit of his semiautomatic apology.
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>> i said some pretty volatile stuff, which i apologize for. i do not in any way advocate the overthrowing of the united states government nor do i condone any violent actions towards any elected officials. it's not time to shoot anybody. it is -- what it is time to do is to organize politically, contact our elected officials, and help steer the ship the direction that we want it to go. >> well, as my old boss tip o'neill would say, timing is everything. and this guy, the term timing refers to when you begin firing. he says there's still time to talk to these people before -- it's not time to shoot anybody. maybe that's just his way of speaking but to most people it sounds like english. and it sounds like this guy might be fire when ready or whatever when it's appropriate. firing at government officials. >> right. we don't need to do it right now, but if things get worse, we have to do it. look, all those guys do is drive ordinary, responsible people to the conclusion that we've got to
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do something and we've got to do it now. >> well, and i agree -- >> again, i hate to put you back in your pocket, in the republican party, but will they allow themselves to be positioned by the press or by their numbers or by their crazy people into being the party as i said, the party of guns over people? >> i don't think so, and i don't think that any self-respecting republican is going to take on the moniker of guns over people. >> how about the unself-respecting like steve stockton -- >> i do know this, chris. i appreciate both sides of this argument, which is why it's timely. let's just put it -- >> you appreciate the argument you need a gun to protect yourself from the government? >> i do appreciate that to a certain extent, sure. i understand where it comes from, and so that's a lot of this conversation has now gotten off track. i think the party has an opportunity working with their constituent groups out there to get it back on track so, as that gentleman just said, what our issues are, they can be addressed in due course. and right now a lot of people
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feel this is not where this is going to go. see where the president comes out tomorrow with his list, and that's when the conversation really begins. >> let's make a prediction. governor rendell, will president obama come out for an assault weapons ban as part of his package tomorrow? >> yes. >> will he? >> yes. you have got to go big, and, look, even if the assault weapons ban goes down, he can still get the ban on high capacity magazines and 100% background checks. those are tremendous victories. i'm not sure the assault weapons ban will go down. everyone is acting like it's dead in the water, and harry reid, hey, let's man up and try to do the right thing. we may surprise ourselves. >> don't be a wuss, right? >> right. don't be a wuss. >> i think they -- my thought, you can't have reaction to what happened up in connecticut without dealing with the weapon used, the bushmaster. >> absolutely. >> unless that's on your hit list of weapons you want to keep from the crazies at least. and maybe keep off the streets,
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period. >> and, again, i think you're right there. that's going to be part of where the conversation is going to go from here on out. >> you have to go after the weapon used in the case. thank you, governor rendell and michael steele. president obama's next battle with congress may have just gotten a bit easier. chuck schumer, a leader in the senate, has given his stamp of approval for chuck hagel as the next secretary of defense. hagel's nomination is another example we think here at "hardball" of obama's newfound fighting spirit, and we like it, of course. from the debt ceiling to the nra to the neocons. taking them on. the president is sticking it to his opponents, and he's winning. and the house of representatives is voting on a relief package for the victims of superstorm sandy. will republicans stand up to help those hit by the storm? or stand in the way? let me finish with a republican party that's beginning to sound and look like a pack of moonshiners. they don't like those revenuers. this is "hardball," the place for politics. with the spark cash card from capital one, sven gets great rewards for his small business! how does this thing work? oh, i like it!
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next monday president obama will be sworn into office for his second presidential term, and we continue our look back at great inaugural moments. here is the first president who was born in the 20th century, john f. kennedy. >> let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of americans born in this century, tempered by war disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the small undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. >> wow. later in that speech jfk said another of his most famous
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lines, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. it's a line he paraphrased from george st. john, the headmaster at his prep school. i learned that nugget while researching for my book, "jack kennedy, elusive hero." which is still on "the new york times" best seller list. 19 weeks. we'll be right back. mine was earned in djibouti, africa, 2004. the battle of bataan, 1942. [ all ] fort benning, georgia, in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation
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welcome back to "hardball." today president obama got an important buy-in you might say for his defense secretary nominee, chuck hagel, from the powerful new york senator chuck schumer. this morning schumer released a statement that reads in part, based on several key assurances provided by senator hagel, i am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation. i encourage my senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him. well, this coupled with senator barbara boxer's vote of support yesterday has made his path for conformation look a lot easier. joining me is "the huffington post's" sam stein and "time" magazine's michael crowley.
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you guys are both good at analyzing these things. i thought schumer would take more time. that's why i'm impressed. he had the interview, asked the questions. got it on the record, maybe got a little more pro-hawkish than he was to start with the interview, but he got what he needed. i was impressed at the speed with which this is being done. your thoughts? >> i'm sort of with you on the one hand. it looked like schumer had legitimate concerns about what hagel's positions were with respect to iran and israel. then again, i thought about what was behind the act? in the end it was a democratic president appointing a cabinet member. it didn't shock me that schumer was on board. i was surprised by the speed. but it looks like it's shaping up for a relatively more comfortable confirmation battle for chuck hagel. >> michael, what i think, it's not about attitude. i don't know where cardin is going to go. he expressed concerns in the beginning. i don't know where a lot of people from big states, jewish communities are more sensitive to the language he's used in the
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past, but it seems to me that what will beat him now is evidence, not argument. if it comes out that he's used bad language, ethnic language, if he said things or just showed an attitude publicly in a way that can be verified, he's still got problems if that happens. >> sure, anything can happen. hagel talks expansively. he's a little like biden. to his credit, and i think it's something obama likes about him, he's not a totally programmed -- >> biden had a lot to do with pushing this, didn't he? >> i think that's a key thing to understand. those two guys are really close. as far as the speed of it, i think they drew a lesson from what happened to susan rice. she hung out there twisting on the vine. they didn't marshall the forces. she didn't have a lot of public defenders. this is the opposite of that. this is an organized, quick campaign. they want to batten down the hatches and basically make him safe for people to vote for and move forward with it and get the controversy behind them. >> let's talk about another big event that happened this week, another shoe that dropped,
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general powell this sunday. let's look at general powell on our own "meet the press" and the way he went at this very directly. he was very pointed here in the middle of what we're going to show you, very pointed for a politician to talk with this kind of exquisiteness. let's listen. >> a lot of my friends in the community who are of a more rightist persuasion, ones who have been hawking -- the hawks -- >> well, the hawks, do you think they're out of line in their criticism? >> no, they're fair criticisms. they can make all the criticisms they want. when they go over the edge and say because chuck said jewish lobby, he's anti-semitic, that's disgraceful. we shouldn't have that kind of language in our dialogue, but they're fully entitled to their views. i didn't think they would go away and never be heard from again. they have to remember one thing, it's president obama and not president mccain and not president romney. they lost two elections. the american people have made it clear they're not particularly interested in finding new conflicts to get into. >> that's where i think this
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might be headed, to those nuances down the road. when you get in the hearing room with the lights on and cameras there, sam, and a lot of heat with maybe some adversarial questions from i don't know who is going to be -- cornyn of texas, people like that, might take a shot at this guy, they'll be under pressure. if there's language about jewish lobby, we'll give you a bye on that, that could mean a particular thing rather than the general pro-israeli lobby you're talking about or whatever, but you start getting into language, the former secretary of state, the general, saying you can't accuse a guy of being anti-semitic because he uses a term of art you don't like. you can't jump to the conclusion he's got an ethnic problem. my sense is these hearings are going to be very tough for hagel already. >> it could be, but on the other hand, remember, he was out there as a rumored nominee for a couple weeks in which his opponents working in the dark mainly were combing through his entire record looking for that very moment that you're referencing. they turned up the jewish lobby quote. they turned up some other stuff
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about negotiations with iran. they turned up some uncomfortable votes about sanctions, and that's largely seemed to do little to actually slow down the nomination or the confirmation process. i think in the end there could be something that trips it up, but i think we're also understating the war weariness of this country. what hagel represents for a lot of people, a lot of lawmakers, as well, is a real turn of the page in terms of how we conceive of using armed forces overseas. i think a lot more people are on his side of that philosophical side of the debate -- >> you're so smart. that's the sweeping change, the 180 from where we were. after 9/11. here is senator bob corker raising an issue that's very subjective. he's a reasonable republican from tennessee. he's talking about hagel's suitability to be defense secretary. listen to the kind of words he uses here. >> i think another thing, george, that's going to come up is just his overall temperament, and is he suited to run a department or a big agency or a big entity like the pentagon.
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>> well, there you go. this is the kind of thing that will drive hagel, and i don't know the guy, i met him a few times, crazy. somebody will say to him in the middle of a hearing, i hear you're always on the defensive. you have a defensive personality. then you defend yourself, and you're being defensive. i hear you have a bad temper. what do you mean i have a bad temper? this is getting rough because all politicians have bad tempers. >> i think in a hearing when people are looking -- >> not all. >> it's a low bar, it's not that hard to maintain -- >> what do you do when a guy says i hear you yell at people in the office? >> maybe you say, look, i'm tough and demanding of my employees, but i expect results, and if somebody's ego is bruised, i apologize, but this is a big boy business. i think i would make the point, maybe he won't, that maybe, what do you think, 95, 98, 100 members of the u.s. senate have a similar rap. >> they don't have a nuclear button. >> that's right but, look, but hagel is not going to be freelancing starting wars. i don't think anyone is worried about that anyway.
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i just don't think that that's going to bring him down. it was interesting, corker was intimating there are staffers who have come forward and contacted republicans. i think we may be seeing more planted stories. at the end of the day, i think he's okay. he's gotten blessings from boxer and schumer on the issues democrats are worried about. >> we've done the personnel issue. probably get through, but, sam, one thing to you, you raise the larger question, the macro question, dove versus hawk. do the neocons, the hawks, feel they have an agenda which will not be met now in terms of getting more involved with syria, perhaps taking a faster line in terms of action or aligning ourselves with israel and taking action on iran? >> yes, that's the big concern, and i think that's what's driving a lot of this. we're sort of obsessed with the side show components, which are did he say something offensive to an openly gay ambassador, was he using the wrong terminology with respect to the israel lobby? but the real concern from the hawks' vantage point is what does this mean with respect to the sanctions regime in iran?
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what does it mean with respect to the israel/palestine conflict in terms of support for israeli settlements? those are the main drivers of the opposition for hagel, and for them it's an existential concern in some respect because they believe obama extended a lot of parts of the bush foreign policy. they don't want to see that end. >> the issue isn't hagel, it's the president. hagel is a lagging indicator -- i understand you know that. but the republicans don't seem to know that. >> i think it's a leading indicator. i think he's obama with a war record. >> exactly. >> i think he's the real obama. thank you, sam stein, and i like it, of course. sam stein and michael crowley. although i think hagel is a notch to my left actually. up next, rush limbaugh has a crazy theory about why liberals love the movie "lincoln." what else would be crazy from this guy? it's got to do with the civil war and some unfinished business. thank you, michael crowley. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] where do you turn for legal matters?
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[ male announcer ] yes, you could business pro. yes, you could. go national. go like a pro. yes, you could. officeyour business needs...k... at prices that keep you...out of the red. this week get a bonus $15 itunes gift card with any qualifying $75 ink purchase. find thousands of big deals now... at officemax. back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." remember the time mitt romney strapped his dog, seamus, in a kennel on the roof of his car for a 12-hour family road trip? it was back in the '80s, but dog lovers were disturbed by it. it looks like florida governor rick scott is having his seamus moment. in 2010 after getting his party's nomination for governor, a new member of scott's family became part of his campaign, his
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rescue labrador retriever. voters helped select the name for the dog, there it is, reagan, as in the president. but where is reagan now? reporters from "the tampa bay times" couldn't get any straight answers from scott's aides and only got to the bottom of it when the governor stepped in. it turns out reagan the dog was too hyperactive upon arrival at the governor's mansion. he was not around long, according to "the tampa bay times." quote, scott said reagan never bit anyone but scared the living daylights out of people at the mansion. so the scotts gave the dog back to his prior owner. isn't that sad? check out the resulting headline from "the washington times." florida's first dog returned by governor scott. no wonder scott's people were reluctant to break the news themselves. take a look at this menu from a utah smoothie bar. drink prices according to the party affiliation. and the owner of the place isn't kidding. >> i'm very open about it, very public about it. i'm going to charge them a little bit more, and i have liberals come in and pay the
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extra dollar surcharge, and actually all three liberals have been happy to pay it. we have a fiscal problem in this country. we've got to deal with it or we don't have a country. so to kind of help make that point a little bit, i charge just a little bit more. >> three liberal customers, that's all. the owner says whatever he collects from his liberal surcharge, 3 bucks so far, goes to republican causes like the heritage foundation. next, rush limbaugh has a theory about why so many on the left are fans of the movie "lincoln." >> why is bill clinton out there at the golden globes last night being brought on stage to thunderous standing ovations to talk about lincoln and what he did during -- what did lincoln do? as far as these people are concerned, he wiped out the south. but he didn't finish, so what the left is admitting today that they are doing is once -- trying to finish it off. lincoln did not fully finish.
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they're all focused on gods and guns in the south. they love both of them. and so the south has to be wiped out again. i'm telling you, essentially there is an all-out effort being made to marginalize conservatism. >> reminds me of radio rwanda in the bad old days. it's been far right republicans obviously doing all the civil war talk. they're the ones talking about the civil war, about nullification of federal laws and all the secession petitions out there. before house republicans head off for their annual retreat this week, i think it's in williamsburg, the democratic congressional campaign committee offered up some suggestions for planned activities and classes. how to stop talking about legitimate rape and insulting women, science 101, creating tax breaks and tax shelters for millionaire campaign donors and, after that ppp poll showing how unpopular congress really is,
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there's how to increase our approval ratings. what root canals, traffic jams, cockroaches, and head lice are doing to us. and republicans are presumably doing wrong i guess. up next, the house of representatives will be voting tonight on a big aid package for the victims of hurricane sandy. but will republicans go along with it? especially from the south. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ this is amazing, how did you find us? i thought we might be related, so i had a fiber analysis done and sure enough, we're family. but you're not even shredded. you're...crunchy?! that happens sometimes. and you help keep people full with whole grain fiber? just like you guys. [ female announcer ] they're different, but the same. new frosted mini-wheats crunch. a tasty square packed with a crunch... [ crunch! ] ...of whole grain fiber that helps keep you full. it's a big breakfast... [ crunch! ] new a little biscuit. smile! ohhh bring it in! ooohhhooh!
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we've got some breaking news from the capitol where the house has just passed a bill sending more than $50 billion in aid to victims of sandy. all but one of those nay votes came from republicans.
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kelly o'donnell is at the capitol tonight. kelly, the politics of this thing? >> good evening, chris. this has been slow and ugly. and it brought out a lot of feelings of regional in-fighting as well as party in-fighting. overwhelmingly the noes were republicans. mostly the argument has gone like this. there's an agreement to provide relief for sandy victims but republicans particularly the more conservative were looking for ways to strike some spending elsewhere in the budget. democrats really reacted strongly to that saying in past disasters that kind of a spending cut standard had not been applied. so when they voted for a southern tornado, for example, no one raised the question of spending cuts. but now in the northeast, when the aid was needed there, this issue of fiscal conservatism and trying to trim the budget in one place to help others elsewhere became so heated. so what you've got now is it was a process but they have passed more than $50 billion in aid.
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it covers a range of things including money for fema to rebuilding transportation and so forth. it has to go back to the senate, but it passed so easily over there, we shouldn't see a problem on that. but it has been a bruising process especially for those republicans from the northeast. chris? >> and that's the reason it's going to remember tonight. thank you so much, kelly o'donnell up on capitol hill. late today i spoke with two congressmen from new york state about the sandy relief package. starting with republican michael grib who represents areas of staten island. >> thank you for joining us tonight. let me show you an ad run back in 1964 by the republicans -- the democrats, rather -- representing the opinion of the republican party voiced by barry goldwater. this was a hot ad, way before you were born. let's take a look at this. >> in a "saturday evening post" article dated august 31st, 1963, barry goldwater said, sometimes i think this country would be
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better off if we could just saw off the eastern seaboard and let it float out to sea. can a man who makes statements like this be expected to serve all the people justly and fairly? vote for president johnson on november 3rd. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> congressman grimm, is there an anti-new york attitude in the republican party nationally, anti-new york? >> i don't think so. i mean, there's always been a little bias against new york. i think that goes way back. there's no question. i've seen it and felt it. but i think what we have right now is just, you know, the deep-rooted concern overall that the country is spending money that it doesn't have and the need to be fiscally responsible, which i wholeheartedly agree with and i respect, it's just when things like this happen, natural disasters -- >> i didn't hear this during katrina. when the southerners were voting their own pocketbooks, when the southern republicans were
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helping themselves out in what was really a tragedy as well as this one and it was very vivid, maybe more vivid in terms of national coverage than new york, i got to tell you, i didn't hear anybody talking about offsets. i heard them saying let's get the money to people like haley barbour. let's get them the money. >> i understand that, but let's look at history. the dynamics were a little different. you were in a totally different political climate. all we've been talking about in the last two years is cutting spending and revenue versus spending fights. it's more to do about where we are in time right now. we didn't have a deficit and debt crisis the way we do right now. let's be fair about the facts. we are in a debt crisis. however, when something like this happens, it's an exception to the rule. these people are hurting. they need the help of the federal government, and that's what we're going to deliver today. the bottom line is we're going to move forward and get this done. >> you know, i have been blessed to get to know some of the really good people up in your borough like teddy atlas and your borough president. they're doing great work. tell us how bad it is. we're looking at pictures of the
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people under water during the flood. have just been devastated. i saw some of that stuff on your own island of staten island a couple weeks ago, it was really rough. >> it's horrendous. this is a war zone. let me be clear, don't forget about -- you see homes crushed. you see people's personal belongings wiped out to sea, but there's also emotional scars that you cannot see. just this past weekend i had a mother tell me her children are deathly afraid when it rains because they think there's going to be another flood. you know, those are the stories that you don't see every day in the news but the impact, they are devastated, they're emotionally a wreck, and that's also why we're fighting so hard to pass this package, to give them a little normalcy back in their lives. >> you know, i'll say you have one thing going for you, community spirit. i have never seen anything like it at st. charles church, the way those people held together, and teddy atlas' operation. it was so inspiring to see people work so hard for each other. >> i have never been more proud of staten island.
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i have never been more proud of my constituency. teddy atlas is a friend. i have been in the boxing gym when i've been corrected. let me just say i'm very, very, very proud of staten island. they are resilient, and they are tough, but they do need our help. >> i agree. let's hope it works tonight. thank you, congressman michael grimm, who represents staten island and other parts of new york. perhaps no one has been more vocal in his anger about the slow pace of federal aid than new jersey governor chris christie. let's listen to the governor. >> new jersey does not expect anything more than what was done for louisiana and alabama and mississippi in katrina. what was done in joplin, missouri. what was done in the floods in iowa. we don't expect anything more than that, but we will not accept anything less. and if they want to make new rules about disasters, well, they picked the wrong state to make the new rules with. >> that's jersey talking. joining me now is new york congressman steve israel, congressman from new york who represents areas hard hit by superstorm sandy. steve, thank you so much,
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congressman, for coming on. >> sure, chris. >> you're a partisan democrat, fair enough. let's talk about this issue as a national thing. why new york, i thought they got great media coverage, when you have a baseball star in new york, they're national figures, just huge, but yet this time i do think that the media is undercut. i'm as guilty as anybody for not seeing what's right in front of our eyes, and for some reason it hasn't gotten the pictures on tv as much as, you know, katrina did. i have learned on the ground what it's like. there's some pictures we're showing now, and it ain't going away. this is a horror for many months, point pleasant, new jersey. this is going on and on for the people in these houses. >> well, look, i do not believe that this is anti-new york, chris. i believe that you now have a group of members of congress who are fairly new who are anti-government. they fundamentally and philosophically do not believe that when a disaster strikes, that is the obligation of the federal government to help. look, i'm cautiously -- >> when does the federal
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government have an obligation to help? >> they don't believe the federal government ever has an obligation to help, and this tea party caucus has become a real problem. my constituents are not interested in right or left, they're not interested in who is to blame. they just want it fixed. i think we're going to get this done. i'm cautiously optimistic. i'm optimistic because the democrats will put it over the top. we will provide the votes to put it over the top. i'm cautious because just a couple hours ago on a modest bill supported by the house republican leadership for $11 billion, nearly one-half of the republican caucus voted against even that. we need to put the politics aside and just get this done and do the right thing. >> tell us about the human aspect in your district. you know the people that come to you for help. what's it like up there in your district in new york? >> well, look, it was devastating, it continues to be very challenging, and my congressional district, virtually my entire district, looked like north korea. it was plunged into the darkness, no power, no lights, very, very difficult. in the coastal areas of my district, people were devastated. they lost everything.
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we're 80 days since the storm struck. i think we're an hour away from finally being able to say to those people, we've put the politics aside, we're doing the right thing. it's bad enough to be devastated by a weather storm. it's unacceptable to be devastated by a political storm. >> we're looking at pictures of breezy point in new york. it's unbelievable. >> breezy point -- i have never seen anything like it, and i was in louisiana after katrina. i saw it. the difference was after katrina, everybody helped. for the reasons i just mentioned, after this storm, after superstorm sandy, it became a political debate. just not right. >> well, breezy point fund is a good organization. there's also in the rockaways organizations like st. francis de sails church. on the ground there's some really, really good people doing some wonderful stuff, but it's a macro problem. >> we need congress to be as good as those people have been tonight. >> well, that's the standard. thank you, sir. i'm thrilled at that standard because it's real. coming up, president obama, he's fighting and winning these political battles with all kinds
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of people, neoconservatives, gun people, debt crazies, all kinds of people. the president is in a fighting mood, if you haven't noticed, and he's winning. come back in a moment for "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] at scottrade, you won't just find us online, you'll also find us in person, with dedicated support teams at over 500 branches nationwide. so when you call or visit, you can ask for a name you know. because personal service starts with a real person.
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>> in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. government is the problem. [ applause ] >> later in the inaug rat luncheon, president reagan announced after 444 days in captivity, the 52 americans held hostage in iran were on their way home. we'll be right back. [ ryon ] eating shrimp at red lobster is a fantastic experience. 30 shrimp for $11.99. i can't imagine anything better. you're getting a ton of shrimp, and it tastes really good! [ male announcer ] hurry in to red lobster's 30 shrimp for just $11.99! choose any two of five savory shrimp selections, like mango jalapeño shrimp and parmesan crunch shrimp. two delicious shrimp selections on one plate!
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and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. we're back. remember make my day? that seems to be the mindset of the president of the united states and his administration. they're taking on republicans when it comes to catch this list
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gun safety, cabinet posts, the debt ceiling. and it's looking like they're finding success. is this a preview of a winning second obama presidential term?? malika henderson is a political reporter for the "washington post," and glen thrush for politico and co-author of the ebook "end of the line." i nice you'd. i missed you. i've seen you on other shows, i've seen some sighting, but thank you for coming back. let's take a look at him now in his first press, the last one of the old year, the president warned republicans not to play politics when it comes to the debt ceiling. here is the president. >> but they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the american economy. the financial well-being of the american people is not leverage to be used. the full faith and credit of the united states of america is not a bargaining chip. >> and that's yesterday's last press conference of the first
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presidential term. this morning, newt gingrich of all people reacted by saying the president was bullying republicans. that's a long way from saying he is weak. now he is a bully. let's watch. >> i don't think we should pick fights where we're in a position that we can't, in fact, in the end enforce our will, because we have no evidence that barack obama is going to compromise. i think this president is deliberately seeking confrontation. i think he is going out of his way to bully the house republicans. >> okay, okay. we'll see. sometimes winston churchill once said when people like newt just hung around in politics after they were defeated, he said we need fewer peerages and fewer disappearages. anyway, newt gingrich says the president is a bully. i would have a finer notion. yours, nia? >> well, very different from what people said before about this president, was that he would fold early in these negotiations and settle for half a loaf rather than going for the whole loaf. he is basically a continuing campaign.
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he is going to the american people and using the bully pulpit, i think much more effectively than he ever has, using all of the levers of his office, whether he is going, considering executive action around gun control and also going to vice president biden, kind of an inside game there. but also going to the outside game and looking at public opinion. and he is finding out what the public wants, trying to lead, i think, the public opinion parade, but also be in the middle of it. >> let me check you on that. will he come after assault weapons ban tomorrow? >> i think he will. >> okay. that's a test of toughness. >> i think that's right. yeah. >> okay. let me go right now to this other question of the -- of sticking with hagel. glen, i was impressed. i thought there for a while about somewhere around christmas time, i was thinking hagel was cooked, the attacks on him on the anti-guy comment he made you could say and the anties, but bad language.
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the lobby things would make strike the wrong chord. but he is in. it looks like he has a good shot of being confirmed. >> chuck shurm our came out today which is a big push for the white house. this is the schoolyard. obama cease himself as being in a brawl with these guys up on the hill. and one of the reasons that he stuck with hagel is the perception is he ditched susan rice. there was the perception in the west wing you couldn't pull the plug on two consecutive nominees. that doesn't mean he wasn't backing hagel to begin with. but once hagel's name was floated out there, folks in the west wing thought it would look pretty bad if he pulled the plug on them. >> is that reporting or conjecture? >> i reported that last week, chris. that's reporting. >> good for you. this issue of the day. the president was sort as i said last night preparing the battlefield, like the late norman schwarzkopf would say. he would say if the government can shut down for the next couple of months, if there is a fail your to pay bills, none of this both sides did it, none of this finger-pointing on capitol hill, none of the old malarkey
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and tired old cliches. the republican party wants to stop this government, blame them. will that work its way into the news coverage? will the people begin to buy the president's shaping of the battlefield? >> it seems like that has happened every time. that the republicans get more of the blame when we have these sorts of, you know, end of the night deals that have to get made, because they have been doing a bit of foot-dragging. so he is definitely laying down the rhetoric. i think one of the things he said in the press conference, which i think people will resonate with, which is this whole idea, if you go out and buy an expensive bill, when the check comes, you can't refuse to buy the bill. he is likening that to refuse tolerate the debt limit. it resonates with people and they can understand the debate in their own language in some ways. >> just to check, glenn, do you think people in the tea party think that they're paying the bill or not paying the bill, or do you think they're saying yes or no to spending, the way they
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look at it? >> oh, yeah. i think what they think is they're looking at a different set of polls that say a significant portion of the american electorate cares a lot about deficit reduction. the problem is none of those polls take in isolation, particularly in these incredibly gerrymandered district, really talk to a larger question. nia is completely right. the obama people have continued polling, polling, polling, polling. and they feel like they have the public on their side. and their choice of words. for instance, yesterday the president talked about education. education polls really well among women. so they know what they're doing when they play the outside game. >> well said. thank you so much. nia-malika henderson, welcome back to haub. glenn thrush. beginning to sound like a pack of moon shiners. remember them, chasing the revenuers out of town? you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. i paint people from my life mostly.
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